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Redefining confidence: Cognitive biases in an architect's life

Redefining confidence: Cognitive biases in an architect's life

Keynote at the O'Reilly Software Architecture Conference in Berlin.


At the time of writing this, Wikipedia’s “Cognitive bias codex” has more than 200 entries, and it feels to me like Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow” is referenced in every other conference talk I’m watching. It’s official: Human beings are just not the rational thinkers we like to think we are.

In this talk, I go through just a few of the cognitive biases that can trip us up as architects, and how to soften their potentially negative impact.

Birgitta Boeckeler

November 07, 2019

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  1. You do have in-depth technical knowledge. But you often use

    words that make your statements sound weaker.
  2. Confirmation Bias Tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall

    information in a way that confirms our existing beliefs
  3. 9

  4. Zero Risk Bias Our preference for reducing a small risk

    to zero over a greater reduction in a overall risk.
  5. Use models “Don’t get locked up in avoiding lock-in” Gregor

    Hohpe https://martinfowler.com/articles/oss-lockin.html Avoiding Lock-in
  6. Outcome Bias Our tendency to evaluate the quality of a

    decision based on the outcome of that decision.
  7. ”...given what we knew at the time, our skills and

    abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.”
  8. Self-serving Bias When we ascribe success to our own abilities

    and efforts, but blame failure on external factors